A small guide to Loft Project Etagi
Ten years have passed since what used to be an old bakery opened as Loft Project Etagi on Ligovsky prospekt 74, a 15-minute walk from Площадь Восстания (Ploschad Vosstaniya). Some might say it is the definition of a hipster’s paradise; there is a craft beer bar at the entrance, they sell fancy coffee, vegan (and non-vegan) food and clothes out of rebuilt shipping containers. And need I mention that many are local start-ups? Some things still remain to reveal its past, but most of the interior is new and there are always some new projects going. If you have some hours to spare, here is a little guide to seven things you can do at Etagi:
Drink mulled wine
I have lost count of how often there has been a “фестиваль глинтвейна” (mulled wine festival) on the rooftop of Etagi. Essentially, there is not much else to it than an excuse to visit the place. However, it is a great excuse, and for cold days it is nice to chug down a cup of delicious, hot mulled wine to keep warm.
Work on your Russian
Зеленая комната (The Green Room) is an ideal place to sit down with your laptop or textbook to do get some work done. The spacious café is located on the third floor and offers both indoor and outdoor seating, whereto you can bring your tandem partner for some language practice. They also offer various dishes ideal for lunch or a light dinner.
Pet the racoon
From time to time they will have different pet animals in one of the big exhibition rooms. During my last visit, there was a racoon running around in a cage made up of wooden pallets. On other occasions there have been cats, dogs and something that looked like mice (possibly rats) to pet.
Attend a roof-top concert at Loft Project Etagi
Combine one of the best views of the city with a concert on the roof of Etagi. Last year, I attended a jazz concert that lasted until the sun went down and it remains one of the most memorable evenings in Saint Petersburg. Great music, great view and an amazing atmosphere. In the summer months, there is also a chance you can join some yoga lessons before the music starts.
Visit the second-hand stores
I will admit not all of the stores are worth a visit, but apart from those who specialises in vape, selfie-sticks and other electronic gadgets, there are most definitely treasures to be found. Walking around the (hidden) corridors of Etagi, you will be sure to stumble across something you like. My favourite is offers some really nice shirts and jackets, close to the stairway between the second and third floor.
World Press Photo exhibition
This one is not permanent, but is held once a year around September and October. Significant and memorable photographies from some of the world’s best photographers are on display. If you have any interest in world news or photojournalism, this is a must-see.
Japanese food is one of my favourites, but if you want something other than sushi it takes a effort to find something in the city centre. On ground level, there is a really nice, little place offering dishes typical of Japan and Eastern Asia. The menu is simple and you are able to see the chef prepare your food. Tasty, cheap and healthy.
Did you visit Etagi already? What did you think about it? Did we forget anything?